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Jan 2
Listening As a Leader Helps Us to Become Better Leaders



There have been many famous leaders who have made magnificent strides in history by being of great, powerful words. Being able to communicate effectively requires the use of a very important tool:

Listening Skills

Focusing on what someone is saying, not only in their verbal voice but in their body language and in their "implied" voice lends itself to effective communication.

Toastmaster's International, an international public speaking organization, has built a long-term reputation on teaching people of all walks of life how to speak and communicate effectively.

This year's Golden Gavel Recipient, Barbara DeAngelis, won the coveted award on being able to effectively teach people the benefits of personal transformation by listening to others and listening and focusing on themselves.

I particularly like one of the interview questions that asked her about human behavior skills and being authentic in their interaction with others:


The Toastmaster: As an expert in human relations, what aspect of communication have you found to be most challenging for people?

Dr. De Angelis:
“The main reason many people have a difficult time communicating with others is that they are not communicating with themselves! They are disconnected from their own truths, emotions, needs and dreams, and spend a lot of their energy attempting to not feel, not see, not know. No wonder we don’t express ourselves clearly to other people.

We worry more about what we think we should say or [how we should] look rather than being authentic.... Communicating with authenticity means that how you present yourself to others is who you really are. 

I totally agree that when we present ourselves to others who we really are, we are essentially employing our listening skills. You see, listening requires concentration, focus. We are successful in listening properly when we take into account:

1. What we have heard

2. Analyzed what we have heard

3. Act on what we have heard 

Listening is not the same as hearing. It is a communication skill that takes practice. Practice is what develops our listening skills into become effective hearers, thus effective doers. If we want our employees to really hear us, to really listen to us, we should become effective listeners as well.

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